Summer Spotlight 2013: Repairing the World


As Reform Jews, we believe each of us has the ability to make a difference, no matter how young or old we might be.That’s why we practice real tikkun olam (repairing the world) in as many ways as we can.

So, join us – at camp, on a Mitzvah Corps program, on the steps of Capitol Hill with the Religious Action Center, or in your own community – and, together, let’s change the world.


Spreading The Word 

While the hands-on work of Mitzvah Corps is an important piece of bettering the world, the program is about living intentionally in all that we do and using interactions with others as an opportunity to impart change.

With less than 48 hours until the official vote, the staff at Kutz jumped into action to speak up against the J-1 visa restrictions that would have impeded Israeli counselors and campers from getting to camp.

At Camp George, one cabin’s idea to wear pink every Wednesday just for fun transformed into an opportunity to spread awareness about breast cancer.

Eisner and Crane Lake Camps are taking a stand against bullying!

Eisner Camp hosted a blood drive open to staff and the larger Great Barrington community this summer and saw more than 60 people line up to help others.

Interns camp out

Interns camp out

The RAC’s Machon Kaplan social action interns got to be a part of history this summer, camping out overnight in order to be admitted to the Supreme Court to hear recent rulings on major cases and celebrating the outcomes.

Kutz participants and staff alike celebrated equality when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.


Doing Good & Feeling Good

When Crane Lake staff member Jeffrey Schwartz was swabbed for the Gift of Life bone marrow registry at camp, he never realized what would come of it. Turns out, it’s hard, but worthwhile, to be good.

The RAC’s Machon Kaplan social action interns hit the ground running! On her first day, Lizzie Stein visited a public installation raising awareness about genocide, attended a panel on LGBT reproductive justice and wrote a blog post advocating for these communities.

Jacob takes a clue from the locals, getting dirty to get the job done

Jacob takes a clue from the locals, getting dirty to get the job done

After a whirlwind first week of volunteering, from working with people with disabilities to feeding the hungry, the teens of Urban Mitzvah Corps are both exhausted and grateful.

On Mitzvah Corps Nicaragua, teens learn from the locals while they build sidewalks that change lives.

After visiting Civil Rights sites around New Orleans, the teens of Mitzvah Corps New Orleans helped two families who are still waiting to move back home after Hurricane Katrina and planted community gardens throughout the city.

See how Mitzvah Corps teens spent the summer repairing the world, in their own words:



Nourishing The Earth & Our Neighbors

After learning about sustainability, nutrition and the importance of the environment through gardening, campers at Eisner will donate the extra crops from their garden to a local food bank.

Campers at GUCI filling their garden beds with dirt

Campers at GUCI filling their garden beds with dirt

Using camp’s resources, campers at GUCI built eight garden beds to be installed at a local prep school to teach middle schoolers about healthy eating.

Camp George is holding its first-ever food drive on Visitor’s Day.

Through a partnership with The Amir Project, Eisner Camp is using experiential environmental education to teach youth about social justice, poverty and the environment through Jewish values and community building.

Urban Mitzvah Corps stopped by Elijah’s Promise to help feed the hungry and were greeted (and tweeted!) by New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone. Watch the video and share the tweet below:

As part of the 2 Tons Together project, Camp Kalsman is aiming to collect two tons of food to serve the 367,000+ families who struggle with hunger each year in Washington state.

What better way to spend trip day at Kalsman than eating lunch on the beach and then helping unpack and sort food for low income families?